If you could double your knowledge of the Lord, how far would you go to attain it?
This week we are going to continue with the subject of Spiritual Warfare and this will continue over the next few weeks.
I am going to discuss what it is rather than what it isn’t because once you see the concepts you will be able to distinguish the false for yourself.
This week, we are going to start with some definitions and basic concepts and build upon them.
Jer. 9.23-24 says our goal as a believer is to know the Lord.
Our goal is not to fight battles, but we are in a war and that will never stop.
The Lord is a warrior (Ex 15.3) and our battle begins by making the decision to be a warrior as well and entering into warfare.
In the book of Haggai, the Jewish people were so concerned about their own lives and houses they forgot about rebuilding the Temple.
In v 7 the Lord asks them to "consider your ways."
In like manner, we are to consider our ways.
Are we wasting our time in life or are we building the house of God (Ezek 13.1-5)?
We are to "repair the walls" like Nehemiah did and every truth we learn is like another brick in the wall.
Song of Solomon 8.9 states " if she is a wall" which means strong, then they can build, but if she is a "door" it means she is weak.
Some may say, "I don’t see the application or understand all this."
But, this is not something you just sit down and understand quickly or all at once.
It takes time to learn spiritual warfare, and it takes just as much time to do it wrong so we might as well get it right, don’t you think?
If I told you you could double your knowledge of the Lord, how far would you go to attain it?
Ecclesiastes 9.14-16 says you will deliver your city by wisdom, and a believer is seen as a city. (Jer. 1.18)
Matt. 13.45-46 says that a merchant went to great lengths to attain a certain pearl, and a pearl is likened to wisdom in the Scriptures. (Job 28.18)
To interpret Ezekiel 16.1-63, the Song of Songs, Daniel chapters 11-12 you need to know history and eschatology. (Isa 41.22)
So, to begin with, there is a concept called "moreshet karav" which means "heritage of war." (Judges 3.1-2, Isa 2.4, 2sam 22.35, Isa 58.14)
It teaches Israeli history and is taught to Israeli children today.
It recounts all the battles Israel has fought and how the enemy was defeated.
They take the children to actual battlefields and they show them where Goliath fell, where Joshua made the sun stand still, where the Maccabees defeated the Greeks.
They experience the feelings, the terrain and the history and that is called the moreshet karav, the heritage of war, and that is our heritage as a believer also. So, with that said, let’s start with some basic definitions that you will need to know.
I’m going to just list them with a brief explanation next to it so we can have a the same understanding of the things that will follow later in the teaching.
* War = is the attempt of one side to impose its will on another side.
* Strategy =is how you win the war.
* Tactic = is how you win battles.
* Roman attack = attacker keeps coming with the attitude you will be destroyed through intimidation, psychological warfare, division, keeping us off balance and infiltration. This requires intervention from God.
* Hittite attack = like to undermine us, non-confrontational, "dig tunnels" to get inside our walls.
* Philistine attack = try to draw us into a confrontation, close combat. They like it.
* Assyrian attack = overwhelm us, costly, nasty, dirty, able to wage war on numerous fronts, high in casualties, can’t win, domino effect problems, organized, even our friends are under attack, cut off, spiritual walk can deteriorate, won’t win on our own strength, we are outnumbered, outmaneuvered and outgunned but don’t panic and run because you will get "killed" anyway so you might as well fight and not make it easy on the enemy and buying time knowing that the only thing that can save us is God’s intervention.
* Laws of warfare = read Deut 20.1-20, Num 4.3 ( the word for service in v 3 is the word for warfare in Hebrew), Eph 6/10-17.
* Gospel = is "basar" in Hebrew and it means good news from the battlefield (1Sam 31.9, 2Kings 7.9).
* Casualties =our minds, hearts, lives and souls..
* Fort/city = is an individual, family, congregation or nation (Eccl 9.14-16, Jer. 1.18, Mt 13.45-46).
* Mobility = how far and how fast can we move our infantry, cavalry and chariots and translates into how we move, our walk with God, how we study. Do we read a few chapters a day = may be too slow, 100 chapters a day = may be too fast.
* Firepower = weapons with a purpose to hit the enemy at various ranges through prayer, scripture,
books, media and speech.
* Wall foundation = the Scriptures
* Walls = that which separates and keeps the enemy away, our protection. (Isa 30.13-14)
* Security = is provided by our walls and personal defenses against enemy effectiveness by obtaining and utilizing knowledge, wisdom and understanding (Isa 33.6).
* Shield = is faith/confidence and there are two types of shields. A "magen" is a small shield and a "zinah" is a larger, full body shield. Too little confidence or too much confidence can hurt us. We needs the right shield (confidence) for the right battle. It also deflects the missiles/arrows (untruths) of the enemy.
* Towers = the units of study we master. Towers keep the enemy away from our walls. There are two types. A square tower represents basic truth and a round tower is symbolic of knowing something well and takes more time and expertise to build.
* Balconies = the application of what you know in defense.
* Glacis/moat = is our attitude, a "stiff-arm" if you will. It keeps the enemy from our walls, it is what you put out front to discourage people from attacking our walls because enemy will try and break down your walls (wear you down from every direction) in order to defeat you.
* Water source = water is symbolic of teaching (Hebrew = "mayim chaim" or living water). Wells are dug which means digging for wisdom, life, truth. Water is below the ground and buried, hidden and it can only be brought forth with hard work. A water source (teaching) is essential to a city. It must be protected in a siege/battle.
* Gates = the weak point in a wall (our life and our defenses). They need attention and relate to our
senses (what you see, hear, feel, taste/say and touch).
* Sword = a sharp mind in the Word, sharp words (Ps 59.7). There several types. A double edged sword
is used to pierce deep and long with one blow.
* Arrows, stones = words (Psa. 120.3-4).
* Helmet = covers the our head against psychological warfare, guards the mind.
* Bows/slings = that which fires the arrows, information.
* Quiver = stores the information, like memory.
* Composite bow = blends many areas of study together.
* Spear/javelin = medium range weapon, anything that keeps the enemy at a distance, not too close.
* Axe = anything that pierces or cuts or hacks, like a "cutting remark."
* Mace = inflicts a heavy blow, can beat you down (like a death, divorce, job loss, etc).
* Battering ram = repeated, frontal pounding "right in the gut" and has to be stopped.
* Conservatism = not changing with new tactics or weapons can lead to destruction (apathy, decadence, etc). The Philistines did not continue to develop the bow, and Egypt did, resulting in a Philistine defeat.
* Firebrands, coals = thoughts, words (Psa. 120.4) trouble or troublesome people (Isa 7.4).
* Auxiliary forces = those close to us who turn against us and fight with the enemy (family, friends, etc).
* Siege = long, drawn out trial or battle (Julius Caesar at Alessia).
* Posterns = schemes, undermining, "tunnels" coming against us from another while you are on the
attack from the outside (they come out of the city against you).
* Allies = those close to us who fight with us (family, friends, or other believers, etc).
* Surprise = to move your force, to engage the enemy at a time and under conditions he does not expect or has prepared for. He cannot react with his own weapons and forces effectively.
Along with these definitions, there several other concepts to include here.
There three types of battles.
A duel is one on one, a small group battle is one group against another and armies are one large movement against another (elections, etc).
The basis for strategy and tactics involves surprise, maintenance of aim, economy, concentration of force, coordination of arms and security.
In other words, spiritual warfare means engaging in battle (getting involved).
Even if you don’t want to do it, it is a necessity for a believer to prepare for battles because they are coming.
Many wait until they are under attack to begin learning something about it, but by then it may be too late.
In the next segment, we will discuss warfare truths and give some overall, practical advice which will help in future battles.
After that we will discuss God as the Commander, what He will do and not do.
The next thing we will talk about will be what preparations can we make for future battles.
Then we will look at psychological warfare and how to recognize it and what to do about it.
Then we will look at what to do when attacking followed by what to do when under attack.
Lastly, we will look at what to do after a victory.